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Self-Talk. It’s Time.

It's official. I wasn't quite ready. To be honest, I'd probably never have been ready to leave public education if someone hadn't given me a kick in the rear. Bittersweet. I've been teaching and coaching in some way or another since 1980. It's all I've ever wanted to...

Infographics: Developing Kids’ Visual Fluency

Educators should read and take heed from the world outside education. Sites like Fast Company, Wired, Black Enterprise and Inc. publish articles that have information valuable to the field of education. This weekend on Twitter, DCP Web Designers tweeted out an image...

Six Tips for Teachers on Eliminating Negativity Bias

My dad was not one for giving unsolicited advice while I was still living at home. That changed however, when I left to start my first year of teaching. “Stay out of the teacher’s lounge.” Of all the counsel he could’ve given me, I thought his advice a bit odd. I...

We Need Multilevel Texts So Everybody Reads

I have this dream. With the advancement of technology, it won’t be long before my dream is realized. A teacher can scan a text and in a matter of seconds there are multiple text complexity levels that match every reader in his or her classroom. There is no such app as...

Growing Numbers of Immigrant Students–Are We Ready?

According to an NEA Policy Brief, nearly 25 percent of students in public schools will be English Language Learners by the year 2025. That’s a lot of kids who will need our support. Are we ready?     Academic support It’s common practice for English-learners in the...

Teaching Up: Taking Nonfiction to a Deeper Level

If we want students to fully comprehend nonfiction text, we must provide powerful instruction in the types of text structures authors typically use. In the past I gave a gentle nod to the text structure unit, but lately I’m rethinking my mild indifference.  ...

Lackluster Book Club Discussions? Fix it with Feedback

Ever visit a class or see a peer teach and have a little déjà vu moment? It happens to me a lot as an instructional coach on the PreK-6 campus where I work. It happened last week in a fifth grade classroom during their literature circles. The teacher, Mr. Duke,...

Can We Please Just Stop?

A lot has already been written by people far more accomplished and well-known than me, but it’s come up  recently in my world and I want to talk about it. First off, this is not intended to be an offense to teachers. I want to be absolutely clear on the fact that our...

A Pedagogy of Listening

One simple question. Who lives at your house? “My dad is in jail. It’s far away where he is so we don’t visit him very much. He’ll get out when I’m in high school. That’s about 8 years—it feels like a long time.” “I have a baby brother who is five. He doesn’t go to...

On Becoming Smarter

A few weeks ago my small group of kindergarten ELL students had just finished up their intervention session. They had worked so hard to listen and segment sounds in simple words, sort letters by attributes, listen intently to the picture book I read aloud to them and...

3 Surefire Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

Each summer, students in poverty fall further and further behind in their reading progress during the summer break. The problem is that children from low-income neighborhoods simply don’t have access to books in the ways that kids from middle class homes do. It’s a...

One Simple Secret to Learning for Every Child

When I first became an instructional coach and found myself planning with teachers, I focused almost exclusively on instruction. I’d had over two decades in education, had read dozens of professional books and attended countless teacher training sessions. I believed...

Do Students See Themselves In Your Curriculum? They Should Part ll

A commitment to celebrate the ethnicity and culture of the students in your classroom starts, I believe, with a cache of valuable resources. My job as instructional coach allows me to collaborate with teachers in different grade levels and that means lots of talk...

Do Students See Themselves In Your Curriculum? They Should.

Last week's post included four things I highlighted that I learned in 2017. Trust me when I say, I learned far more than the few lessons showcased in the blog post. I think by far the most important 2017 moment was the renewed passion I found for tweaking the...

Four Teacherly Things I Learned in 2017

That pretty much sums up 2017 for me. It was clearly one for the books. It was true of the past year for a lot of reasons, but most especially for the things I learned, or shall I say, re-learned. Four things I (re)learned in 2017: PLN Within and Without Professional...

Kids–Put Your Pencils Down and Just Read

"Miss, do I have to use my _____________strategy while I'm reading today?" Fill in the blank, dear teacher, because you know you can. Collectively we've taught a million and one nifty strategies for kids to use when they read. Our intentions are admirable. We just...